ISBN-10:
0226668371
ISBN-13:
9780226668376
Pub. Date:
11/15/2006
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Making Sense of Evolution: The Conceptual Foundations of Evolutionary Biology

Making Sense of Evolution: The Conceptual Foundations of Evolutionary Biology

by Massimo Pigliucci, Jonathan KaplanMassimo Pigliucci

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Overview

Making Sense of Evolution explores contemporary evolutionary biology, focusing on the elements of theories—selection, adaptation, and species—that are complex and open to multiple possible interpretations, many of which are incompatible with one another and with other accepted practices in the discipline. Particular experimental methods, for example, may demand one understanding of “selection,” while the application of the same concept to another area of evolutionary biology could necessitate a very different definition.

Spotlighting these conceptual difficulties and presenting alternate theoretical interpretations that alleviate this incompatibility, Massimo Pigliucci and Jonathan Kaplan intertwine scientific and philosophical analysis to produce a coherent picture of evolutionary biology. Innovative and controversial, Making Sense of Evolution encourages further development of the Modern Synthesis and outlines what might be necessary for the continued refinement of this evolving field.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226668376
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 11/15/2006
Pages: 236
Sales rank: 855,073
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Massimo Pigliucci is associate professor of ecology and evolution at Stony Brook University. Jonathan Kaplan is assistant professor of philosophy at Oregon State University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Prelude - Evolutionary Biology and Conceptual Analysis
1. Natural Selection and Fitness: After the "Force" Metaphor
2. How (Not) to Measure Natural Selection
3. The Targets and Units of Selection: Individual Events and Population Dynamics
4. Studying Constraints through G-Matrices: Is Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics Looking in Vain for the Holy Grail?
5. A Quarter Century of Spandrels: Adaptations, Adaptationisms, and Constraints in Biology
6. Functions and For-ness in Biology
7. Testing Adaptive Hypotheses: Historical Evidence and Human Adaptations
8. Slippery Landscapes: The Promises and Limits of the Adaptive Landscape Metaphor in Evolutionary Biology
9. Species as Family Resemblance Concepts: The (Dis-)Solution of the Species Problem?
10. Testing Biological Hypotheses: The Detective versus the Statistician
Coda - A Philosophical Dialogue
References
Index

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